Self-improvement advice tends to fall into two categories, the first which preaches follow your bliss and believe in yourself, and the second which warns against following your passions and to believe in yourself, but not too much. The problem with the latter is, life is not a dress rehearsal, there are no ‘do overs’ and there is no prize in the end for being miserable. It has been my experience, the only life worth living, is one filled with joy and passion. Following your passion, instead of living a life that everyone expects of you, is not easy and comes with a price. This decision usually attracts individuals, who delight in tearing down your dreams. If you continue to give these voices a platform, you will become disheartened and lose all motivation; it’s an incredibly high price to pay for allowing people to speak into your life. How do you believe in yourself when no one else does?
The key to believing in yourself is to be true to your vision or dream, and live a life consistent with your values and aspirations. There are four keys to being true to yourself, within a negative environment.
Choose your audience wisely
Unfortunately, criticism is an unavoidable but necessary part of life; criticism in the appropriate conditions can lead to growth and future success. The key to believing in yourself is to be able to discern the difference between someone tearing you down and another criticising your actions to ensure growth and success in the future. Chose to disclose your goals, successes and failures with an audience who is encouraging you to succeed and keep your aspirations close, around individuals who have a need to impose their own agenda and negativity onto you. Just because a family member or friend has a negative opinion or thinks you will fail, doesn’t mean it’s true. Be selective and chose the comments, opinions and criticisms, that inspire you to better yourself and make necessary changes to ensure success.
Call to Action: Recall three pieces of feedback that have encouraged or inspired you to keep going in difficult times. Who was it that encouraged you? What did they say? Write this down in a journal, these words will come in handy in times where you are in need of encouragement.
The Power of Self-Reflection
I am a firm believer in the power of self-reflection; sometimes it’s the key ingredient to achieving your goals. Are you receiving negative feedback that is consistent? It’s important not only to consider the source of the feedback but also to consider whether there is truth and a potential opportunity to evolve and ultimately be a step closer to achieving your goals. Reflect upon the recent comments you have received, how can you use these words to ensure your future success. Have you been greeted with the majority of small businesses fail within the first year? Look at your own strengths and weaknesses, could you benefit from a business course or start researching similar business and discover the keys to their success; how can you apply these strategies to ensure your small business thrives longer after its first year.
Call to Action: Write down the last three comments or feedback received from individuals, whom you have shared a goal or dream with; ask yourself, How can I use this to ensure success? Let me know how you go, leave a comment below
Remember your successes
Successful moments from the past no matter how insignificant they may seem, are proof, that you have what it takes to achieve your goals. These moments illustrate the skills you have as well as your potential to grow and broaden your skill set. Successful moments reveal two key ingredients to achieving your goals or dreams, a plan of action and persistence to carry on in the face of difficulty. Remember your previous successes, reflect on the actions and skills that made those moments possible and feel confident knowing that if you were successful previously, then you can successful achieve your goals this time around.
Call to Action: Recall to mind, three moments where you were successful in achieving a goal or completed a task that brought you closer to achieving your goal. It’s not about size or grandeur, it’s about the achievement no matter how significant it may seem. How did you feel? What skills did you need? How did you grow? How many of these skills are transferable? Record this moment in a journal along with the answers to the above questions, pull out this journal whenever you need inspiration or are in need of a confidence boost. Remember, everyone needs a confidence boost at some point in time.
Use moments of failure to your advantage
Our perspective is the one thing we take into every situation that is in our power to change. We have all experienced those moments when everything we have been working for has crashed around us or perhaps you have tried a different way to achieve a goal. The good news is: there is never only one or two ways to do something. We are limited only by our imagination or ability to create a new strategy; you have everything you need to achieve your goals and the key to unlocking this is; your perspective. Use moments of failure to your advantage, start seeing these moments for what they really are: an opportunity to learn and grow. Reflect upon the decisions you made. Try a new strategy, set new goals and break them down into smaller achievable tasks.
Call to Action: No matter whether your goal is lose 20 pounds, starting a new business or you dream of becoming an actor. Your long and short-term goals are achievable. Ask yourself, what is working and what isn’t? How can I do things differently? How are others achieving similar goals? Keep a journal, record your moments of success and failure. It’s important to remember what has worked and what has not.
It takes a great deal of courage to share your goals and dreams with the people around you and even more courage to remain confident despite negative feedback. They key to being believing in yourself when you are surrounded by negativity is: chose your audience wisely, always use self-reflection to your advantage, remember your past successes, use moments of failure to your advantage and keep a journal. How do you keep believing in yourself in times of negativity? Please let me know by using the comments box below. I’d love to hear from you.
Photo Credit: chesterf, iStock ID # 19844316